Friday, January 30, 2015

First goal accomplished: 100 miles

I hit my first monthly goal today: 100 miles running. Yes!

Secondary goal: Run more than I did last January. I have one day left and I'm already 84 miles ahead of last year -- ha!

Bonus: I've hit 100 miles six of the last seven months.

So far, 2015 is off to a running start. Ba dum tiss.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The great treadmill debate

Hamster wheel or training tool?
A member of a Facebook running group I'm a part of asked a simple question that devolved into a debate of the pros and cons of treadmill running.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I use the treadmill pretty exclusively once the temperatures drop. I've done two spring marathons training on the treadmill, and after the last I don't think I'll do another. But I'll run a steady 4-10 miles a few days a week on the 'mill to keep my base up for the impending race season.

The poster asked a simple question and one man replied to get off the treadmill and run outside. She responded that her asthma didn't allow her to do that. After a bit more back and forth, I commented that the "treadmill shaming" was unnecessary, and no one should care how anyone else got their mileage in. (I should point out that that comment got 18 "likes.")

The same man then posted that treadmills are "weak" and boring (OK, that we can agree on) and then called me out personally to say there was "nothing unnecessary" about treadmill shaming. Really? I took offense to that, and a few other people chimed in that they run on the treadmill because of work schedules, or young children at home, or ice storms, or whatever.

Of course I love to run outside, and I do it whenever I can. But there are some times when it just doesn't work. And I don't think anyone needs to make anyone else feel bad for how they run. Miles are miles.

Thoughts? Am I just being oversensitive? Do you treat the treadmill as a tool, or do you avoid it at all costs?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Week in Review 19-25 January -- Back into a groove

So many activities!
I had a decent week last week. I skipped my Monday swim because I was still getting over my cold, but the focus on easy activity early in the week means I got through my pre-hab routine TWICE. I think that is a record of some kind! Ha!

Overall, I had strong weeks biking and running and a bunch of other activity, and I'm happy with how it shakes out:

Swim: Once this week for just over an hour. I'm not going to stress about this since I was still recovering from Congestion City early in the week.

Bike: Three times this week for two shorter and one longer session, all on the trainer, for 4:40 total. I'm going back and forth on whether or not I want to start adding a few more minutes here and there: The bike is my weakest discipline, but how much difference can an extra five minutes on the trainer make when I'm not going to be racing for months yet? We'll see how this week shakes out.

Run: A solid 31 miles this week, all on the treadmill, which makes this my highest mileage week of the year so far. This worked out to five total runs: two easy, one MMD, one LSD and one speed in a total time of just more than 5 hours.

Yoga: One 30-minute session this week. Better than my previous trend of zero.

Weights: One heavy/body weight session for about 1 hour. Ideally, I'd like to get back into the routine of twice a week, one heavy/body weight and one video, but being sick also threw this off a bit.

Plyo: One 20-minute session after my weights. Since I have been good about doing this after every weights session this year, maybe I should consolidate this into one? But I hate plyo, so I also want to give myself the credit of actually doing it. Ha!

Pre-hab: One benefit of recovering from being sick early this week was that I got through TWO rounds of my pre-hab exercises this week: hips, ankles, arches and toes. No sweating, no making myself sicker, and hopefully reducing injury down the line, all for the price of one.

Walk: I'm totally counting a 26-minute walk down to the Y just because I can. My blog, my rules. We had a nice day last week and I took advantage. It's cross training, yeah.

Total: Just more than 15 hours, with nearly 10 of that biking and running. So, a solid week!

I'm hoping I can carry the momentum through this week and into next month. The year is off to a good start, colds be darned, and hopefully I can keep it going.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Fall down, go boom

This was me.
I was feeling much better today and did an easy-ish ride on the bike trainer and a very easy, quick run on the treadmill. Later, I went downstairs to make dinner and... kaboom.

My stupid sock slipped right off the front of the top step and I skidded down about half my stairs, luckily mostly on my butt. I had the presence of mind to reach up and grab the handrail to stop myself before I made it all the way down.

I have a tiny nick on my thumb from where I grabbed the handrail, and my back is definitely reminding me what happened, but otherwise I'm sure I'm fine. The funny thing was that I was going to try to get in a bit of yoga tonight. This made stretching out my back a priority.

The adventures of being a klutz.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week in review 12-18 January: The calm before the cold

Not much to write home about.
Well, I drank ridiculous amounts of tea and bone broth, but it didn't stop cold germs from eventually invading my sinuses. I came down with whatever is going around and could barely get out of bed for a few days, let alone get a workout in.

I had a family commitment last Sunday, so I had to move my long(ish) run to Monday. I had a few personal commitments early in the week (including hanging out with my sister-in-law in from out of state, hooray!) and had a scratchy throat by mid-week, so I didn't push it too hard. I took it easy Friday and made it until about Saturday noon before I went to bed for the next day and a half.

Luckily, or maybe as a result of drinking all that tea and bone broth, I am feeling almost like myself today. I'm going to take one more day off all training except maybe some yoga later if I am up to it, then try an easy spin tomorrow, and see how it goes.

Swim: Nothing this week. I moved my Sunday long run to my Monday swim window, and just couldn't make it up before I got sick. Plus, who wants to swim while congested? Not me.

Bike: Two sessions on the trainer for 2:40 total.

Run: Twice on the treadmill, one LSD-ish and one easy run, for 14 miles total in about 2:20 total.

Yoga: Nothing this week.

Weights: One video, followed by my plyo moves, for about 1:25 total.

Pre-hab: Nothing this week.

Overall: I got in six training sessions for about 6.5 hours before I got sick.

Well, there wasn't much to do except take time off and feel better. I'm not willing to push it for a few days just so I can end up with pneumonia. And hopefully, I can fight off the next round of colds going around. It's almost better to get it out of the way early in the season so I can keep building that base into the spring.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


I fought valiantly against whatever crud my husband brought home last week but, alas, I finally succumbed.

I had a scratchy throat for a few days this week, then started to get sniffly and light-headed. It hit full force yesterday afternoon, so I went to bed and pretty much didn't get out until evening today.

I'm already starting to feel better, but I'll mostly likely take at least one more day completely off training and MAYBE do something easy on Tuesday. I don't mind getting sick as much if I get hit hard and then it goes away quickly, so I'll do what I can to make sure it's gone for good.

Oh well. Everyone is getting sick, so it was just my turn, I guess.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week in Review 5-11 January: The weather outside is frightful

Goofing around in Numbers. What pretty colors!
Negative wind chills be darned. I still had a pretty good training week, hitting all of my main goals and getting a decent amount of training in despite it being just generally lousy outside.

Swim: Twice this week for just over an hour each time, for a total of about 2.25 hours. I am just starting to get my pace down to where I don't feel I need to swim with a paper bag over my head.

Bike: Nothing exciting here -- three indoor trainer rides, two shorter and one longer, for about 4.75 hours total.

Run: Five runs this week, all on the treadmill: three easy, one medium distance, and one speed for 26 miles in about 4.25 hours total. My internet went out later in the week so I couldn't watch Breaking Bad on Netflix -- curses!

I really liked my speed workout and I'm totally doing it again: One mile easy warmup, then a quarter mile at 6.2, 6.4, 6.6 and 6.8 mph; 6.2, 6.6, 6.8 and 7.0 mph; 6.2, 6.8, 7.0 and 7.2 mph; and finally 6.2, 7.0, 7.2 and 7.4 mph, followed by an easy mile cool down. That last three-quarters of a mile was tough -- 7.4 mph equates to an 8:06 minute per mile pace, which is about my 5K race pace. You could easily adjust this workout to whatever is a challenging pace for you at the time, too.

Yoga: Twice this week, both self-guided, once for about 20 minutes and once for about 40 minutes for 1 hour total. Felt good.

Weights: One round of heavy weights/body weight exercises that took me about 1 hour. I bumped up my squat weight a few pounds and I was definitely feeling it the next day.

Plyo: One round following my weights workout for about 20 minutes.

Overall: About 13.5 hours total, which is great for a base-building week.

I feel like I'm off to a good start this month and year. I don't want to jinx it, because my husband has finally come down with whatever crud is going around, and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before I get sick, too. But, until then, I'll be getting that training in.

Friday, January 9, 2015

When the high temperature reaches 6 with a -21 wind chill...

Feels like -21 outside? Stay inside and work out.
The wind chill got down to -21 yesterday. Let me repeat that: NEGATIVE TWENTY-ONE.

My butt went outside exactly as long as the dogs took to do their business, and then we turned right around and hunkered down for the rest of the day. So, what better way to stay warm than to do a bunch of training? I got in a roller ride, weights, an easy run and my plyo moves, with rest and snacks in between.

Now, I'm trying to summon the courage to bundle up long enough to get to the Y for a swim. I am at least going to finish this giant coffee, first. Brrrrr!

Monday, January 5, 2015

December/January goals check-in: a mild success

Not too shabby.
It wasn't a bad week changing the calendar from 2014 to 2015. I did some kind of exercise every day, even if it was easy. I ran, biked, swam and did some other stuff, too.

Swim goal: Get to the pool twice weekly.
Swim actual: Got to the pool twice. Hooray! I am hoping this helps to set a baseline for 2015.

Bike goal: Get on the trainer three times weekly.
Bike actual: Got on the trainer three times. Hooray! I have now been successful at this FIVE weeks in a row. Not a shabby way to start off the year.

Run goal: Hit 1,000 miles by the end of the year.
Run actual: I did accomplish this before the new year. Hooray! My mileage total was 26.5 for the week, 10.5 in 2014 and 16 in 2015. I'd ideally like to hit at least 100 miles every month in 2015, so I'm well on my way toward that.

Weight lifting goal: Six times this month.
Weight lifting actual: I did do both my heavy/body routine and a weights video, following up both with my plyo moves, during the week. However, one was in 2014 and the other in 2015, so I technically only lifted weights five times in December. Almost there!

Pre-hab goal: Six times this month.
Pre-hab actual: One round last week, making it three total for December. I'd like to improve on this for January.

Yoga goal: Six times this month.
Yoga actual: One session last week, making it three total for December. I'd like to improve on this for January, too.

Weight goal: Lose three pounds.
Weight actual: Welp, here's the part that was not a success, no matter how I spin it. I was down two by mid-month, then back up those two and another 0.4 by the end of the month. Too many Christmas goodies.

So, looking ahead into the new year, I'd like to keep the swimming, biking, running and weight lifting going strong. It's hard to tell from that Daily Mile chart, but I had a monster day this past Saturday: a two-hour trainer ride, a weights video, a run, and my plyo moves. I won't have the freedom to do that every Saturday, but I'd like to take advantage of the days I can.

Pre-hab and yoga continue to be my dragons. I just don't make the time for them in the rotation. I need to keep working at that.

I don't have any flashy goals for January except more of the same: Get that base back in swim, bike and run; get strong; get flexible; don't hurt yourself; and lose a few pounds. Piece of cake, right? Except no cake because of that "losing a few pounds" thing.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

First New Year's resolution: Don't freeze to death


I know all two of you who read this blog are waiting with bated breath for my December goals review, but since I've been going week-by-week, I'm going to wait until after Sunday to do an official wrap-up. The zillion other blogs reliving the past year will have to be good enough.

The short version is I want to build on the relative success of December and continue to build my base in January. I got off to a good start today with both a trainer ride and a treadmill run.

The most important thing these next few weeks will be to NOT freeze to death. Yes, that image was an actual recent weather report. Yes, feels like 3 degrees. Yes, wind gusts to 25 mph. Yes, my butt stayed inside.

We're supposed to have a relative warm-up this weekend -- meaning lows only into the teens -- and then it's bitter, bitter cold again. And probably for the rest of winter.

Maybe it's time to start looking into training camps in Hawaii.